City living is the way of the future. More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and that number is only increasing. And if, like many other city dwellers, your apartment is basically the size of a Starbucks bathroom, that certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish. Those of us living large (so to speak) in smaller spaces are often inspired to pare our lives down to the things we care about the most.
Here are some of our favorite tips for creatively maximizing your small space:
1) Take advantage of vertical space
Go vertical, especially when it comes to storage. With limited floor and counter space, you’ll want to utilize the plentiful cubic footage near your ceilings. Think floating shelves instead of standard bookcases, hanging planters instead of plant stands, over-door storage, and more. In the kitchen, a pegboard wall organizer (just like Julia Child’s!) will keep all your supplies within easy reach. Nearer to the floor, lift your bed up on risers for tons more bedroom storage underneath—it’s a great place for out-of-season clothes. Walls are majorly underutilized in most apartments, so consider what you can store on your walls using shelves and hooks.
2) Use multi-purpose items
People with huge kitchens can afford to have weirdly specific gadgets like banana slicers, donut makers, etc. But with space at a premium, it’s crucial to choose items with multiple functions. For instance, not only are cast iron pans incredibly affordable, they’re versatile: use them to sauté, bake, broil, roast, braise, and more. Instead of buying a shoe rack, hat stand, and umbrella holder, buy furniture that does all three. Consider using a trunk as a
coffee table to keep your coziest throw blankets close at hand; ottomans and dining benches can also include storage. Storage-wise, there are options like floating shelves that also have drawers, letting you store things in and on top of them. With many more people living in smaller homes, there’s now an array of multi-purpose furniture options on the market.
3) Consider folding furniture
When we hear “folding furniture,” most of us think utilitarian metal folding chairs, but there’s so much more out there. Tables, chairs, and more can be designed in such a way as to fold up and store totally flat. And if you have a small dining area, you can still accommodate quite a few dinner party guests with a few folding chairs and an expandable table with hidden leaves. Here’s a list of various origami-style folding furniture, and another with inspiring folding furniture designs.
4) Don’t skimp where it matters
The point of saving space in some areas is so you have more space for other stuff. If you absolutely love having a big bed to stretch out on, go for the full- or queen-size bed. You can save space in other parts of your room—with no space for a nightstand, try a wallmounted shelf. And if you’re a huge film and TV buff, make space for the bigger TV!
Remember, a small space is a chance to prioritize. Dedicate the space you do have to what you really love, and your home will become the oasis of your dreams.